When you’re a marketer, you need to justify your decisions and how your decisions impact the company. So when sending your superiors reports on research and performance results, you will need to make sure they are top-notch.
In today’s technological age, data and information are readily available to collect on nearly any topic. Web traffic is just one of them. Tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Omniture make all kinds of information readily available to you. Besides, your boss will be looking for numbers which can translate into dollars.
Same goes in sports. When trying to strategize and make gameplans when facing opposing teams, you need to be able to present information to managers correctly. Also, when trying to determine your team’s next big signing or why one player should get more starts over another, you need to be able to show why intelligently.
So how can you create reports that can wow anyone that reads it and can justify your value? Here are some tips that I’ve learned that could help you go a long way to revolutionizing your marketing game:
What I believe ia the #1 thing in terms of reporting is honesty. Just like when selling to customers, be honest with your own coworkers and superiors. Maybe you are a marketer and you realize that a decision that you did a lot of research on and made thinking it would be spot on did not pan out. Maybe the player you scouted did not necessarily work out like the numbers projected they would.
When showing reports, don’t skew the data to trick others and say that what you did “worked” when it really didn’t. That dishonesty can leave greater negative results than if you were honest. You may lose the client or they might not invest as much in you. Learn from your mistakes and prove that you can understand the market, what it will take to work, and adjust your strategies to win. Plus, it will make your victories that much sweeter.
Choose The Right Numbers
With the amount of information that is available now, it can be overwhelming. With too much data and too many numbers, you might draw the wrong conclusions or have trouble formulating ANY conclusions. You might even become frozen due to the amount of data that you have on your plate.
In the end, you need to choose the right numbers. You need to understand which numbers will make the difference and help you make the right choices. Of course, the information you should use varies by case but make sure you don’t use unnecessary ones to just clutter your reports.
Visuals, Visuals, Visuals
It takes a special kind of person to just sit and look at numbers on numbers on numbers and not get lost. For people who don’t necessarily have a quantitative mind, they can get overwhelmed when look at reports with just numbers. How does one month differ from another? What do these numbers mean in relation to each other?
This is where visuals, such as graphs and charts, come into play in a big way. Visuals and graphs can be inserted into analytics reports to make drawing conclusions easier. It also gives non-quantitative minds a visual way to interpret your results. Sometimes, the software packages you use can automatically create them but Microsoft Office tools like Excel are there when they cannot.
Make Sure Everyone Understands
You might understand how an increasing bounce rates from organic traffic is a bad thing and is lowering the average ranking of your website in search engines like Google and Bing. You know the importance in the fact that your running back’s YPC and YAC rank in the Top 10 in the NFL. But do the end decision makers know why?
Make sure to deliver your information in a manner in which the receiving party can understand. Explain what the analytics you have mean and what they mean for the bottom line. Having this clear explanation can show your web developers that they need to look at the content or meta information of your website or your coach that he needs to utilize his run game more. They might not have understood this if you did not clearly define what the numbers meant.
Draw Conclusions From Your Information
Now that you have gathered all of the information necessary to fill your analytics report and give your update, you need to set steps and goals going forward. Have you given those reading it an understand of what is to come next?
Draw conclusions from what you presented to your readers. Set goals and gameplans based on what you have. For example, if people that enter your website through a blog post on social media are more likely to make a purchase or leave contact info, figure out how to grow that and provide value. Setting goals are a great way to justify success that you have down the road and can truly give your team and company benchmarks to reach for.
Data and analytics are the present and the future in business reporting. Mastering how to interpret them can help set your business up for a future of success. Use these tips, from visualizing your data to drawing conclusions from your results, and you will show everyone in your organization the values of your work and you can set goals with confidence.